PARIS — Celine on Wednesday named Thuy Tranthi as president of its American operations to succeed Wendy Kahn, who joined Valentino USA earlier this month, as part of the Italian firm’s strategy to build its operations in America.

Serge Brunschwig, Celine’s president and chief executive officer, said Tranthi would be responsible for ramping up business in the U.S. for the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned fashion house.

“This appointment is significant for us,” said Brunschwig. “We see vast potential to build the brand in America. We are committed to growing in the U.S.”

Tranthi joins Celine from Thomas Pink USA, another LVMH division, where she was president. She has worked with LVMH businesses in the U.S. since 1999, including managing Louis Vuitton in Hawaii.

At Thomas Pink, she was replaced by Robert Dundon, previously the general manager for Paul Smith in North America, where he was for five years. Dundon’s responsibilities at Thomas Pink include developing the retail business. The company currently has 15 stores in the U.S.

This story first appeared in the May 19, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.